Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Importance of Collegiality

Despite an air of weariness, most everyone seemed to walk a bit more briskly and with a bit more excitement as the day progressed today. Grammar and AP Style; meeting working journalists at The Arizona Republic who proved to be friendly and generous with their time and knowledge; listening and learning a great deal from Michael Roberts on The Five Stages of a Story; and adding to our multimedia repertoire with InDesign. It was another full day.

And was out and we were released for the weekend! Ahhhhh, the stress and weariness all but disappeared as we tore off our name tags and exited the building. I think that the mental health benefits of spending time with colleagues who are in the trenches with you and truly understand how solitary, demanding, and lonely teaching journalism can be is as valuable as time spent in the classroom. 

This was certainly the case with me as tonight was the first opportunity I was able to enjoy time with classmates who I am now proud to count among my friends. To be able to enjoy a meal and conversation without a deadline was magical and we indulged in the experience. 

I would be remiss if I didn't take this time to thank those who have, through their generosity, allowed 35 teachers from around the country, to spend two full weeks learning what we need to know to teach journalism. The Phoenix ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute is extraordinary and I am very appreciative for the opportunity.

Nicki Yokota
St. Margaret's Episcopal School
San Juan Capistrano, CA


  1. I agree, tonight was a great chance to get to know each other on a personal level. I am so glad I have met you and hope I can get to know you even better this next week as your positivity and gernerosity are so infectious.

  2. It is truly amazing when you can be outside of the classroom and truly get to know someone on a personal level. I tend to forget that when we are on there is not a great deal of time to collaborate with others if at all. Teachers need to have an outlet to chat and ask questions.

  3. I trust that everyone around the table was engaged in the story-focusing exercises Michael Roberts detailed earlier in the day. Have a great -- and restful -- weekend, everyone.

    Steve Elliott
    Arizona State University

  4. The collegiality created after hours, is sometimes the most significant. The contacts on a personal level let everyone know that he/she are not in the trenches alone.
    Jodie Schommer
    Lakeside Lutheran High School
    Lake Mills, Wis

  5. Nicki:

    From the first email inviting everyone to come and have a drink in the hotel lobby... You have been a welcoming and wonderful person that I am so thankful to have met! I hope we have many more opportunities to "share" in the future --MAYBE after everyone is on Twitter, we can better coordinate outings! I am tbward93 on Twitter -- or via Facebook --but I have to add you

    Tracey Ward
    Olentangy Liberty HS
    Powell, OH

  6. This is such a great picture! We had a group go out and chat as well and it was just SO great to decompress and think about the week; what we can take back to our classrooms and whatnot. Everyone here is more than I could ask for in a coworker, collegiate, and friend:) Here is to week 2!

    Alyssa Carnley
    Harrison High School
    Kennesaw, GA

  7. It was truly a wonderful day and and even better dinner. Kudos to My Big Fat Greek and Isaiah for the delicious food and service!

    Kellie Wagner
    Hartford, Conn.